Happy Friday! I hope this week has been a good one! This week for me has been challenging, but the good kind. I’ve been challenged to do things that made me uncomfortable, things that I felt incredibly unprepared for and to shine a light on a side of me that I prefer to keep hidden for the sake of a friend. Specifics? They’re coming.
So, what exactly is this “Friday Findings”? It’s a section of my blog where I will update you weekly on things I want to talk about from the past week. Category: lessons learned. Lets get started!
This week God has been teaching me something. What? I’m not quite sure yet. But twice this week I’ve been in situations where I’ve had to get quite uncomfortable and talk about things I normally wouldn’t for the sake of encouragement and transparency. It was pretty cool. I don’t normally jump for opportunities like that because I usually walk away from them feeling pretty exposed and vulnerable. This time was no different. In one situation I discussed my very real lack of qualification for the job I currently do and the insecurities that plague me within it to a group of interns. It was pretty well received but wow was I uncomfortable. At one point I could even feel my voice doing that quivering thing it does when it’s threatening to reveal my emotional state to my audience and I actually thought I was going to crack…BUT I didn’t. I also talked about how I overcome those obstacles by reminding myself that yes, I’m “in charge” of this position, but I’m actually not in charge of anything.
The other situation was a conversation with one of my teens at our youth ministry. She was having a really rough time and needed to know that she could make it through. When I’m presented with situations from my kids, there’s always the usual structure of listening, advice and then of course prayer which is super important. But this conversation was of a different nature and I could very clearly feel the pull on my spirit to “tell her”. So tell her I did. We talked about my struggle with depression, suicide**, and the danger of negative coping habits. I revealed my mistakes and she listened. She was shocked & emotional but most importantly she was comforted to know that when some people say “I understand” they really do. My hope is that she can see how those of us who have suffered or still do suffer with those issues make it every single day and be encouraged.
Both of those events were pretty emotional for me. I felt like God took me for a 10k. While recovering from those emotionally taxing events, I was reminded of one of my favorite bible verses; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (the NLT version specifically)
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
This verse is my heart song.
This verse gives life to the trials of my younger years. This verse gives purpose to the mistakes I’ve made on my way to where I am and where I’m going. This verse gives me motivation for the challenges that will try to knock me off my grind in the near future. This verse speaks to me about the power of Jesus and how His existence redeems our ugly and makes it beautiful. I’ve had people tell me it’s not that deep, but to me that verse is my entire testimony. This week God has placed me in situations where I was yes, uncomfortable, but these were also situations that encouraged me. My lesson, remember. Remember my why behind my what. No matter what the what is. It could be ministry, it could be teaching, it could be cleaning my house, it could be persuing a relationship, it could be attending a gradutation, in all of it, I need to remember my why. I feel like I grew a lot this week, I’m excited and encouraged.
God is the master of taking things intended for harm, for disaster, for ruin, and turning them into masterpieces. Just look at the cross. That thing was a cruel tool of death and torture and now, because of Jesus, it’s something we wear around our necks, get printed on our clothes and get tattooed on our skin. It brings light and hope across the world.
I hope you find yourself encouraged too. There is nothing, believe me. NOTHING God cannot use for His glory. If you let Him, He’ll use you.
You are all so so loved. Remember that & Stay Lovely
**I’m an advocate for professional help if you feel you need it. I am not a professional therapist and do not speak as one. I encouraged my friend to seek professional help and she will. If you or anyone you know struggles with these things, talk to someone you trust and do not be ashamed to seek help from a professional. There are all kinds of therapists who specialize in all sorts of things, take a look. In the mean time – National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255